Canning Green Beans

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

I did my first picking of my green beans last week. This year, instead of freezing them, I thought I'd give canning a try. Following the instructions in the Ball Complete Book, I washed & snapped the beans, boiled the beans for 5 minutes, packed them in quart jars, and pressure canned them for 25 minutes at 10 lbs. I was so looking forward to using this method. Well, I opened a jar last night, and the beans were like mush. Much, much softer than the ones you buy in the cans. I guess I like my veggies a little more crisp-tender. DH though they tasted just fine, but I really can't eat them this way.

Is this normal for canned green beans to turn out so very soft? If it is, I guess I'll have to go back to freezing them.

Jo-Ann

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I've used both hot pack and raw pack methods from the Blue Book and think they come out better using raw pack. That said, canned green beans are softer than blanched and frozen but I think frozen ones taste rubbery. I can them to increase freezer space for more expensive produce and foods. We have one type or another growing all summer. By fall I don't want to see another green bean for a good long while. You will never see green beans on my Thanksgiving table! The canned ones are used for soups and stews during winter and are added right at the end of the cooking time. I add the liquid in early though. The liquid from a garden bean has much more flavor than a commercial bean fresh, frozen or canned.

I don't know the varieties you are growing but you might want to try some older types that are known to require long cooking like McCasalan or Kentucky Wonder. I grow the brown seeded KW runner for it's good flavor in canning. Romano beans are also good candidates for canning. Rattlesnake is good. I think perhaps the fillet types or varieties with good texture raw or stir fried might not be good candidates for pressure canning. They may work for pickling.The trend towards tender beans with short cooking times has its downsides.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

MaypopLaurel, Thanks for the info. I'll try the raw pack the next time & see how they come out. I planted strike & contender. The description for contender says it's an heirloom & good frozen or canned. Strike is also described as heirloom.

Otway, OH(Zone 6b)

I also only use he raw pa and mine come out fine. Kathy

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

Since I'll have more to pick tomorrow, I'll give the raw pack a try & let you all know how they come out.

Jo-Ann

This message was edited May 17, 2015 9:03 AM

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

Thanks so much to everyone who said to cold-pack my green beans. I did a test run with 4 pints jars today & they came out delicious!! I guess canning them raw, cold-pack is the way to go!
Jo-Ann

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Great! I love the smell when I pop open a can. Of course nothing beats a fresh bean.

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

I cold pack too. And, I hate frozen green beans. They squeak and crunch when you chew them and the flavor is just not as good as canned. And, Jomoncon....be sure the beans are ready to be canned. If you pick them too young they may not can as well. Just a thought.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Try adding vinegar and a little sugar to your beans. Mother always did and her beans were always known as grand ma beans. Commercial canned green beans are raw packed.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I finished my fourth round of green beans this past week for a total of thirty pints. Also made a half dozen or so pickled quarts. We ate green beans on average three times a week and gave lots away. We'll have a few more with meals but the rest of my six or seven varieties will mostly be left for seed. I'm over beans. Now on to tomatoes and all their possibilities, peppers pickled and fermented for hot sauce, and many southern peas plus two types of lima beans (Christmas & Black Jungle).

I cleaned up some spotty tomatoes yesterday and, along with onions, peppers and four pounds of ground turkey, plus seasonings, canned six pints of chili (75 minutes). Great with a quart or two of red beans or pintos for fast dinners come winter.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

By "raw pack" you mean loading up the jars with UNBLANCHED green beans, pouring boiling liquid into the jars, then, pressure canning for the required time at the proscribed pressure?

I have a new batch of "Contender" and "Strike" green beans up...growing fast under the covered hoop. It's like a sauna in there, and they are loving it! Perforated plastic sheeting...

Thanks!

Linda

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Linda I know the answer but consider to answer another's query unless you don't get the answer from the person you asked the question. If you are in a hurry send me 50 bucks and I will tell you. LOL

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Eweed, that is flat out outrageous! I was only gonna charge $25!

Linda, yes pack the beans raw and pour the liquid over. I add no salt but sometimes add a scant teaspoon of Knorr bouillon or Better Than Bouillon. The reason being that the beans are already so well cooked in the processing that you don't want to add much cooking time after that. So beans used for soup have nothing added but beans used for sides are flavored. When used for soup add at the very end. Do not add any seasoning meats as that would significantly change canning time. One other hint...cut the beans shorter than you might normally, about 1"-1 1/2" max so they settle better in the jar. Gently cram them down with a wooden spoon through the canning funnel. Otherwise you'll pull them out of the canner and have a few beans and lots of liquid. Make sure they stay well below the jar's thread line. And another other hint...that scant amount of water put into the jars to keep them from bobbling when I heat them in the canner...well I use that already hot liquid while packing the jars and then top off as needed.

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel
SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks Laurel!

LMK where to mail your check, LOL!

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

I have high overhead I have a wife. lol

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Smart woman. If you're having trouble with her upkeep you certainly can't afford a girlfriend. My guy is from Boston but I told him to get over himself. Cost of living is cheaper in the south you know. :>)

Linda, I'll put it on your tab.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Mine is not smart she has kept me for 48 years going on 49. If she had been smart she would have gotten a rich guy. She put up with the hunting and the fishing now she has to put up with me lol.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

It sounds like she got the rich guy after all. And you actually know about canning? Plus hunting and fishing? Where did you learn? I came late to the party, though many years ago, and am self taught. So happy to have acquired the skill. I taught my daughter and she has taught classes in neighborhoods that rely on government sponsored community gardens. Aside from hunting and fishing can you do brain tanning and make blow gun darts?

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

I did make blow gun darts once using big spikes we shot them out of a pc of conduit and powered it with compressed air. It was so stong the darts went into a wood wall and stuck so hard it took a crow bar to remove them. We laughed and shot darts and drank a lot of beer after canning fish for 16 hours. We did this until the super came in one night and said destroy that contraption. Sheesh no sense of humor he needed some beer.

I learned to can originally from my mother but later went to work for a salmon cannery in Alaska. We ran 5 lines 252 cans a Minuit from each line. We processed for 100 minutes @ 12/12 psi that's 246 degrees. Sometimes we canned for 22 hours a day . On those nights sometimes we snuck a beer but not more or not often. They sent me to the U of Calif at Davis for retort proficiency. I got a license to process foods in any kind of retort ( big pressure cooker) They passed a law about 1974 that you had to have at least one license to operate. The canneries usually had two. Oh my we had fun we worked like dogs then when the work slowed to 12 hours we would take a boat and go fishing. In the early days we didn't have a way to freeze the fish to bring home so we salted a few in wooded butter kegs and gave the rest to people in the village that didn't have a way to get fish on their own. In later years most places put in big freezer operations so we could freeze and box fish to take home. We still gave lots to the village.

I cringe when I see someone post I pour boiling water in the jar it is faster. That maybe what they think because they have done that for years and not died. But unless the book says that's the approved process then it is still so many minutes at so much pressure. If the book says 20 minutes then it is 20 minutes it can not be cut short by filling the jar with boiling water. There is a process called hot pack that takes less process time where you boil the product and put into the jars `quickly and top off the jars with boiling liquid but again then the process time needs to be by the book.

Ok tmi I will get off the soap box Maypop I am not talking about you . You are hot packing but if the beans are raw then the process is called raw pack and the process time of that needs to be by the book. If you mix products in the same time you need to folloe the process time of the longest one of the bunch. The only thing I don't look in the book for is Salmon lol.

There is a thing called a steam canner that is faster than a waterbath canner but again it's book must be fallowed. It is mostly for fruit.

Now we get to it what is brain tanning lol I am stumped

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Well that's quite a story! My mom didn't can but I'm only self taught when it comes to home canning. My dad had degrees in food technology and bacteriology. He and his two brothers owned a food manufacturing, processing and packaging company. They did mostly private brand labeling. I'm very familiar with steam and retort canning as well as open kettle. Enormous kettles! They used steam canning for conserves. At the end of the cooking day, when the kettles were pressure hose steam cleaned, I got to swim in a kettle if I was at the factory. Of course they were re-cleaned. Guess it was an early version of a hot tub. :)

Home canners are advised to start with hot jars and hot liquids regardless of packing method. This is to minimize jar breakage and sanitize (not sterilize). Canning times should not be altered. If you've followed this forum for awhile and noted my posts, I'm a stickler. No upside down jars, no pouring boiling water, capping and if a vacuum happens it's good and no blogger recipes!

You'll have to look up brain tanning. Two of my kids got into that. I wasn't very happy when I discovered my fancy blender being used to facilitate the process.

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Quote from eweed :
Try adding vinegar and a little sugar to your beans. Mother always did and her beans were always known as grand ma beans. Commercial canned green beans are raw packed.


Never tried that. Sounds good. What are proportions to say a pint jar? I am done with beans this year but would maybe try it next year.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

My green beans are growing faster now than they did in the springtime, LOL!

I keep the bed moist, and wrapped up with the perforated plastic. It's like a sauna under there, and the beans seem to be loving it. They're healthier than my first batch, too.

Sure hope I get beans before the cool/cold shuts them down, so I can practice more canning. I need to adjust the sodium in the jars. First batch was a bit salty. Second batch was not salty enough.

Third times the charm?

Happy Labor Day, Everyone! I certainly will be laboring!

Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Gymgirl....I grew my beans in straw bales this year and WOW...what a harvest. Of course, the PNW was very warm this summer, even on the coast where I live. I need to pick again but will give them away now. Your sauna method sounds good. I bet beans love saunas.

You can always salt them in the pan when heating them for dinner. I use 1/2 teaspoon per pint. Seems about right.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Beebonnet,
I used the 1/2 teaspoon per pint too, but, I used coarse, Kosher/pickling salt, which made the pints too salty.

What salt do you use?

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Maypop As you may guess I am a stickler for process times as well and am shy about eating home canned products others can unless I know them well. Once a guy who came to the shipyard said to me whats in commercial canned salmon that's different from what Alice does . I said to him why do you ask that. He says to me I can eat a whole 1/2 Pound can of commercial salmon and only a few bites of Alices. I says beats me and he says I will bring you a jar. He did and one glance made me think I was looking at way under cooked fish it had silver bright scales. The scales cook to nothing when properly cooked so I didn't open it. I told him I would send it to Seattle and let the head of quality control look at it. A few days went by and Tom said to me Ernest my son this fish is way under cooked who did this. I told him a fisherman did. Tom tells me there is no decomp showing tell him to take the lid off clean the top edge and recan it either 100 minutes @ 11 pounds or 2 1/2 hours water bath. When I asked how long Alice processed hers for he said 45 minutes sheesh. Then I told Red to get a book. A week later he was back telling me I was right. He said Alice had done that forever. She changed. The cookers I used were 5 feet in diameter and 42 feet long we had 7 of them they held 22 some hundred cases of salmon. Sometime 5 were going at the same time but usually only four. For more to run we needed another person.

Grandmas bean recipe
9 pints of beans.
7 pints of water.
1 cup of vinegar.
1/2 cup of sugar

Boil beans in plain water.
Pack into hot jars.
pour boiling mixture over beans leaving the head space your book calls for.
Clean the seal surface
put sterile lid on and tighten ring snug but not as tight as you can. That will hurt not help get a good seal. Just good and snug.
Follow the prescribed process time for the type canning you are doing.

Nothing written in stone about the ingredients she has 1/2 tsp per quart yet her receipe is in pints I think she was on a reduced salt diet. I can't ask her and so we just do it by taste. Good luck. Oh for fresh beans you can by taste add vinegar and sugar and salt to your taste and boil them in the mixture until done the way you like them.

Mother canned hundreds of jars of food. With 6 kids and a few kids from the neighborhood it took a lot of food. Her pantry was a thing of beauty oh at the colors beans,corn,cherries,peaches ,pears,salmon,Stew,chicken first pressure cooked off the bone. She canned most every thing.My 5 sisters did not help her much so I did. then canned

bee bonnet do you have any pics of your straw bale beans? I keep hearing about this but have never done it. I guess I should maybe less weeds to pull.

Linda how high is your plastic I have some raised beds 4 feet wide but the hoops are only about 4 feet high I guess I could grow bush beans under there is that what you grow.?








Coos Bay, OR(Zone 9a)

Gymgirl...I use canning salt. Just a level teaspoon, not heaping, in the bottom of the jar. Then the raw beans, then the boiling water,remove the air bubbles, wipe the rim with wet paper towel,then the hot lid,the band tightened to my own not very strong strength and in the pot. Repeat. Now I may try some with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Haven't worked out the exact proportions yet.
My problem now is standing for a lengthy time. So, I do small batches.
Eweed...I will take some photos today. I need to anyway.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Eweed,
I could tell you, for a price, LOL!!!

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

touché lol. Oh you mean to tell me you sell it for a price? information I mean ha ha

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Hey, Eweed,
It's been awhile, and I've been bending more PVC for hoops, LOL!

I'll share how I do it. Every bed is looking more and more neat. That wasn't the goal, mind you. The goal is to keep those **&##@@@ SQUIRRELS from burying nuts in my raised beds. I'm surrounded by my neighbors's pecan trees on three sides, and, I guess my raised beds are the perfect hiding place --- NOT!!!!

Just measure the width of your beds, like ldsprepper shows here, then make a simple jig. Get yourself a heat gun (that goes at least 1100-1500 watts) and start bending your pvc. There are various ways to anchor the pipes, too. In the beginning I was pounding anchors into the ground, like in his video. But, since I had some pipe strap left over, I've been making my own pipe straps, and screwing them to the inside edges of my raised beds.

I made some of the mini greenhouse A-frames, just like in this video, and, wouldn't you know they fit exactly over my 18" square seed trays! So, no squirrels in there, either, LOL!

I'm in the process now of stapling some 8 foot 1xs to the long parallel edges of the covers, so I won't have to use clips anymore to hold the covers onto the hoops. Also, the long boards make for quick "on and off" when I need to get under there.

You owe me...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7uis53iRmk

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Linda I rip 1/4 inch plywood about 2 inches wide. Then I roll the plywood twice with the plastic. Then I put 3 sheet rock screws in 8 feet. This will beat any kind of anchoring system. I have been doing this for years. I did it on a 14x45 hoop house that took a lot of wind. I have never lost a cover this way.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Eweed,

Looks like we're even, LOL! Thanks for that tip!

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